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DCI WORLD CLASS EXPANDS TO 165 MEMBERS for the 2022 TOUR


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Although I was obviously not a party to these discussions, I would be amazed if the directors voted to increase the max by 11 members simply to generate $55,000 (total) in more member fees.  Not when many of these corps have budgets closing in or exceeding seven figures.  It is far more likely that they wanted to increase their memberships due to creative and competitive reasons. Having 60 guard members while still putting 72 horns out there seemed quite effective to me last summer.

As for Open Class...I think there will always be a demand for Open Class because not all kids can or want to spend 66 days away from home, jobs, internships, etc, and not all kids can or want to pay $5000 instead of $2500-$3000 that the Open Class corps currently charge.

And for the record, yes, there were 400 corps back in 1980....about 350 of those were made up of 20-40 total members and run by a mom and pop with absolutely zero business acumen.  The World Open in Lynn, Ma was a two day event and featured 60 corps, but you had to wait for the last 2 hours of it to even see a drum corps with over 50 members. They travelled in old, broken down school buses with no food trucks or medical staff.  These corps vanished not because or SCV or BD passing rules but for the very same reason the Boy Scouts, CYO, the Grange and the Brownies vanished. Society changed, including the dwindling of small local organizations of all types.

We can all pine for the good old days of drum corps.  The truth of the matter is today's drum corps BELONGS to today's members.  We all have our cherished memories, but whether we continue to support the evolving activty is a matter of personal choice.  I for one, can't wait for 2022!

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43 minutes ago, GUARDLING said:

You are 100% right..This requires more than talk from people but physical support, butts in seats, a louder voice demanding what their wants and unique needs may be BUT it all starts with less talk and more support. $$$$$ ( for the good or bad of it ) always gets the attention

Some kids like the open class corps they march with.  My experience with them shows that the members stay longer and it’s more of a family atmosphere. But, if some have never spent much time around them, they probably wouldn’t know that.  

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23 minutes ago, Terri Schehr said:

Some kids like the open class corps they march with.  My experience with them shows that the members stay longer and it’s more of a family atmosphere. But, if some have never spent much time around them, they probably wouldn’t know that.  

Sounds like a different world from World class. Also sounds like differences between DCA and the lesser Senior circuits (was in both).

And DCI needs to realize it needs to pay attention to both WC and OC to be healthy. 

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49 minutes ago, JimF-LowBari said:

Sounds like a different world from World class. Also sounds like differences between DCA and the lesser Senior circuits (was in both).

And DCI needs to realize it needs to pay attention to both WC and OC to be healthy. 

If history is a teacher, it won’t happen.  Sorry to be pessimistic but…

If people showed up to watch them on Thursday morning, that would be a good start.   There are usually seven people and a ham sandwich there ($1 to Rudnicki). 

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When it comes to Open Class, we’re talking about a greater variety of corps that share tours and competition opportunities but are very different and have different concerns. Some OC corps know that a good number of its members are marching for a year or two to get experience to march in WC corps. There are also members in these corps who want to march OC and stay with the corps their entire career. The ages are varied in these corps. Some OC corps tend to have older members, usually college age, who find the OC schedule works better for them. One only accepts high school age marching members. Some are working towards moving to WC. One is primarily a stepping stone to other corps and has the youngest members. For at least one corps the education aspect is the top priority.

OC has many strengths. One which Terri mentioned is the family like atmosphere. Many balance traditional drum corps and innovation well. I can recall speaking with folks involved in an OC in 2012 and the supervision and safety issues that were so hot button a few years back had been addressed years earlier and policies were in place. 

OC should have more of a voice and brings a great deal to the table, but I would wonder if the issues that impact WC corps have that much of an impact on OC? I also wonder if issues that do impact OC such as minimum corps size or more equitable  appearance fees get input from OC directors.

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37 minutes ago, Terri Schehr said:

If history is a teacher, it won’t happen.  Sorry to be pessimistic but…

If people showed up to watch them on Thursday morning, that would be a good start.   There are usually seven people and a ham sandwich there ($1 to Rudnicki). 

I’m one of the seven!

If you’re not in your seat for that first corps at prelims on Thursday morning, you don’t know what you’re missing. Well you’re missing the opportunity for a half frozen blueberry muffin and not the greatest coffee (Lucas Oil needs a Dunkin Donuts), but you’re also missing heartfelt performances and some entertaining shows.

Edited by Tim K
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1 hour ago, Tim K said:

OC should have more of a voice and brings a great deal to the table, but I would wonder if the issues that impact WC corps have that much of an impact on OC? I also wonder if issues that do impact OC such as minimum corps size or more equitable  appearance fees get input from OC directors.

How can it not?  The fact of adding more members to the bigger corps takes away even more potential members.  It also keeps moving that elusive number to become a WC corps.  All the decisions that take away and cost more to be competitive affect OC corps.  I suppose it's one way to keep your dominance.    

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3 hours ago, Terri Schehr said:

If history is a teacher, it won’t happen.  Sorry to be pessimistic but…

If people showed up to watch them on Thursday morning, that would be a good start.   There are usually seven people and a ham sandwich there ($1 to Rudnicki). 

SO TRUE!......... OC members themselves have seen this at many if not most of their shows..$$$$$$$$ will talk louder..It happened in WGI with Schol. A class. They finally learned their bread is buttered there. Of course members in A class ( which surpasses all other classes helps ALOT! Bottom line $$$$$$$$

Edited by GUARDLING
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4 hours ago, craiga said:

And for the record, yes, there were 400 corps back in 1980....about 350 of those were made up of 20-40 total members and run by a mom and pop with absolutely zero business acumen. 

You are entitled to your opinions, but you do not get to make up your own facts.

By 1980, we had already lost 1/3 of those 400 corps.

Even if your impressions come from earlier in the 1970s... there were many more corps in that era larger than you contend.  Only 50 corps of over 40 members?  Maybe by 1990... even the mid-1980s had bigger numbers.

As for the "zero business acumen" insult... sure, it is easy to take potshots at 400 targets.  For every Hopkins, Blenski or (fill in name of Oregon Crusaders scapegoat here), there should be ten times as many instances of "bad management" BITD.  But painting the whole activity with that broad a brush is criminally inaccurate. 

Many corps had local business leaders involved, properly organized BODs and governance/support structure, and a responsible track record of operation.  But they also had missions that were local/community oriented.  As an already large and expensive activity grew even larger/pricier under leadership of the elites, orgs serving smaller constituencies could not justify the expense and decided that their resources (including local donations) would be better spent on something more scalable.  Examples:

Winter guard - dozens of former corps populated the winter guard activity.  I think several are still prominent in WGI now.

Scholarships - several corps were well enough run that they ceased operations with a surplus of funds sufficient to maintain a scholarship program.

Events - just hosting a drum corps event instead of operating a corps.

Many others just opted to pay their bills and shut down responsibly.  The ones who shut down irresponsibly, however, stick better in our memory.

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They travelled in old, broken down school buses with no food trucks or medical staff. 

Many of those corps did not really "travel".  Massachusetts had a thriving drum corps activity for decades, where corps could experience a full and busy season within a 15 mile radius of home.  Food trucks and medical staff are great ideas for touring corps, but some of these corps were not even doing overnight trips.

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These corps vanished not because or SCV or BD passing rules but for the very same reason the Boy Scouts, CYO, the Grange and the Brownies vanished. Society changed, including the dwindling of small local organizations of all types.

Society has changed, but not all local organizations have dwindled.  Certain recreational sports have exploded in participation in the same time frame.  Of course, most of the success stories are activities who kept costs from mushrooming.  Otherwise, there has been a tendency for such sports/activities to grow better as scholastic extracurricular programs where facilities and funding are more easily obtained.

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We can all pine for the good old days of drum corps.  The truth of the matter is today's drum corps BELONGS to today's members.  We all have our cherished memories, but whether we continue to support the evolving activty is a matter of personal choice.  I for one, can't wait for 2022!

I do not post here for the sake of pining for the past.  I post out of concern for the future.

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